7 Tips for Buying Textbooks
- Wait until your first class to buy your books.
- Be careful when buying from other students.
- Buy Used when you can.
- Wait to buy your books but don’t wait until the night before your exam.
- Keep your books in good condition until you are sure you will be using them
- Avoid line ups with Click and Collect
- Be ready with your book list
Your instructor will give you a syllabus of what course materials are required in your first class. This is a perfect time to ask questions about exactly what is required and what is optional. You also may meet someone who would be willing to share books.
Most students are great about selling textbooks. If you can get a deal that saves you money and puts a couple dollars back into another student’s pocket that is fantastic. However there are a few unscrupulous individuals out there who will try to pass off old additions that look similar but are out of date and unusable or incomplete book packages meaning they don’t have the necessary CD or Access Card with them and you’ll have to re-buy the new package anyway. Once you are stuck with an old book there is nothing you can do to return it.
If you want to buy course materials peer to peer we suggest you visit http://buyback.mcmaster.ca and look on the Used Book Classified Board. This way you have the time to do your research, check the prices the Campus Store is selling used copies for and make an educated choice. It is usually the person lurking in the Store going “Psst... want a cheap copy of Chem 101?” that is trying to pass off a useless or over priced book.
Unless you are a true bibliophile buy used. They are cheaper. As long as the book is on course next semester (providing you haven’t totally trashed it) you can sell a twice used book back for the exact same price as a once used book.
We will always do our best to have a few copies of every book available later in the semester however it costs a lot of money to keep unused books hanging around so we can’t guarantee at 6 o’clock the night before your exam we will have a copy of the textbook in stock. Be reasonable; you have known since the first day of class the exam was coming. It’s your responsibility to be prepared.
Each and every semester we have students who try to return “new” books that have been read, the spine is cracked, they are highlighted, dog-eared, or generally look like they have been dropped in a puddle and run over by a truck.
Once you damage a book it is considered used. We can’t sell it for the new price if it is used and it is unfair to expect other students to bear the cost of your damaged textbooks. See the Campus Store refund policy.
Textbook Refund Deadline:
Spring Term Refund Deadline:
All courses - Saturday, May. 11th, 2013.
Summer Term Refund Deadline:
All courses - Friday, June. 28th, 2013.
6. Avoid the line ups with Click and Collect.
Save time in the store during fall rush by ordering your books online. Place an order to be picked up when you arrive on campus in Sept. and we'll have your books ready for you at no extra charge.
It can also save you money - Click and Collect orders get pulled first - giving you the best chance for used books.
If you are visiting the store in person, the best times to shop for books during this busy time are at 8:30 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
During the day, you may want to consider timing your visit for just before classes let out, to avoid a rush of people. The Campus Store has extended hours at the beginning of each semester.
See Campus Store hours for all locations.
Your best strategy for getting through the textbook buying process quickly is to be prepared by having your book list printed out before you come in the store. The Campus Store has staff on hand to help you find everything on your list and answer any questions you may have.